Open Textbooks

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Image courtesy of J-Pierre

Textbooks are also a growing part of OER. The following is a list of sites that have repositories of open textbooks:

Search Engines

Searches Internet Archive, Google Book Search and many others. Visitors should note the search engine displays each result in a new window, which may be overwhelming at first.

Public Domain

American education, psychology, history, sociology, religion, and science and technology books. Specializes in 1800-1900 publications. Over 10,000 books and 50,000 articles.

Provides free eBooks for PDAs, iPods, or eBook readers. Books are available in several languages.


Religious, philosophical, literary, and scientific texts in 40 languages. Over 1,000 texts in English. Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA.

List of free textbooks wiki format. Licensed CC-BY-SA.

Textbooks and select educational resources of all kinds. Some of the books are PDF files, others are viewable only online as e-books. Most books are aimed at undergraduates, but there are at least a few resources at every level, from kindergarten to post-doc. All of the books are offered for free by their respective copyright holders for online viewing. They have around 500 books at by the end of 2006 they expect to have 1,000. All original text on this website is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. The categories of the textbooks are: Biology, Business & Management, Chemistry, Computers-Tech, Earth Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Health Sciences & Medical, History, Math and Physics. CC-BY-NC.


Project to build science textbooks for grades 10-12 in South Africa. Topics include Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Currently 8 books in development.

Sponsored by the Wikimedia foundation (which also supports Wikipedia), Wikibooks is meant specifically for open textbooks. Subjects range from computer programming to cookbooks. All wikibooks are licensed with the GFDL license (see the License OER section for more information). More than 28,000 pages across dozens of books. GFDL license.


Website that provides links to free textbooks. Registered users can write reviews. The Assayer started in 2000, and has a long history of free textbooks. However, some links are broken or outdated. Over 1,000 books. Open Publication License.

Textbooks on various topics. Most are openly licensed, but license does vary. Over 15 books. provides free books in the areas of economics, business and engineering.


ISKME. (2008, February 8). What are Open Textbooks? Connexions. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from
Okerbloom, J.M. (n.d.). The Online Books Page: Archives and Indexes. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from